It may not be clear that your child has a persistent literacy difficulty when they are young. However, you may think there is a problem particularly if you see a lack of progress over time. This checklist Signs of Dyslexia in this Teacher’s checklist may help you as a starting point.
In some cases it is not until a child is older and the demands of more complex texts, reading at speed and extended writing that the difficulties they are facing becomes apparent. In fact, it is not unusual for Learners to be identified when they get to university!
Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed.
A learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.
It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut-off points.
Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities.
Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor coordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia.
Drive for Literacy recognises that to identify Learners who have dyslexia, you first need to rule out other issues such as speech, language and communication difficulties, underlying health problems and hearing or vision difficulties. It is also important to check whether a Learner is receiving the right teaching, has not missed school and is ensuring that there are no gaps in their learning. If a Learner is getting good initial ‘phonics ‘ teaching and is still experiencing difficulties, then further investigation might be needed. It may be that a Learner who initially does not seem to have problems with reading may later be identified as having dyslexia. This is usually because they have learnt to mask their difficulties with letter sound matching, by using other ways to read, such as memorising the shape of whole words or using context clues and pictures on the page to support the reading process.